For the first time in 30 years, the unemployment rate in America has dropped to 3.9 percent, according to the nation's Labor Department.
While this may reflect a higher number of jobs being created for Americans, I am concerned whether our next generation of young workers will truly understand and appreciate the value of hard work and the benefits of sticking with something.
There seems to be a wave of acceptance among many young Americans that if something is difficult, it isn't worth doing -- or if it's too hard, it wasn't meant to be.
In our modern world of prenuptial agreements and fast food, could we be inadvertently creating an incubator for a generation of quitters?
This attitude can be seen in the ever-increasing number of young people dropping out of high school, the high divorce rate among young couples, and the disturbing number of teens who are ending their own lives. In Arizona especially, the drop-out and suicide rates are among the highest in the nation.
We are cultivating a fast-forward society in which too many young people are running through life without experiencing some of the genuine rewards that come from hard work and perseverance.
They are cheating themselves out of the kind of rewards that don't come from having everything quick and easy.
How many young people today know the satisfaction of baking bread from scratch and tasting it hot from the oven? How many have followed a sewing pattern to make a puppet or an article of clothing? How many have planted seeds in a garden and eaten the fruits of their labors?
In the future, how many will become parents who do not understand the law of the harvest -- because, like the bread, the clothing or the garden vegetables -- it is too much work for them to nurture their children themselves? Will they expect the work of parenting to be done for them?
There are already too many parents whose children are being raised by day-care centers, schools, television sets and now the all-exposing Internet.
There is an old saying that goes:
"Smooth seas never a skillful mariner made."
We need to find opportunities to teach our children and grandchildren the value of hard work. This can be done in small ways such as baking a pie and sitting down together to enjoy a slice, or with larger projects like painting a bedroom or building a tree house.
Most of all, we need to show them by our example that when something is hard to do, the work we provide to keep our ships on course helps us to see how beautiful the journey really is.
Richard Haddad, publisher